People downsize their homes for many different reasons. From empty-nesters whose kids have left home to owners who would prefer a smaller footprint to care for, downsizing can be beneficial from a personal and financial perspective. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re downsizing.
Do You Need a Home Office?
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that working remotely from home can quickly become a necessity. While this isn’t the case for everyone, if you’re planning to conduct work from your home, keep in mind what you may need to set-up a home office. Space comes at a premium in smaller homes, so you may have to shuffle things around to configure a space that meets your needs. Where will you put your desk? Do you need privacy for phone calls or virtual meetings? Food for thought if you’re looking to downsize.
How Important is Personal Space?
One of the first things people notice when they downsize is that they are suddenly confronted with a lack of personal privacy. Whereas you may have had several rooms to retreat to in your old home, a smaller home doesn’t afford this luxury by nature. Remember to factor in personal space when you’re searching for a smaller home, and discuss this with your partner and/or housemates too. Smaller homes could mean that children are forced to share a bedroom, bathroom, or both. And bonus rooms like dens, kids playrooms, guest rooms, etc. are probably not going to be an option.
Do You Have A Lot of Overnight Guests?
If you’re the de facto host in your family and you’re considering downsizing, bear in mind that you may not have the same space for overnight guests or even those coming for a holiday dinner! Do you generally have a lot of overnight guests? And if so, how often are you hosting them? Depending on your needs, you may want to find a smaller home that still offers guest quarters, even if you’re downsizing. This is especially true if lodging accommodations are not readily available nearby.
What Are Your Storage Needs?
This is probably the biggest challenge for those looking to downsize. Look around your current residence and take inventory of what you would take with you. How much space will you need to house all of those items? Garages quickly become dumping grounds for boxes and non-essential items when people downsize their homes, leaving little space for cars. So, before you start house hunting, be honest about your storage needs. There are always storage units if you need to go that route.
What Size is Your Furniture?
As you’re looking for a smaller home, keep in mind the size of your current furniture. Unless you’re planning to sell or donate your furnishing and purchase all new, you will want to be mindful that your furniture fits the new space. For example, some smaller homes may not have a formal dining room and instead have an island or counter that requires stools. This is another time when storage becomes a topic of conversation, especially if you have family heirlooms that you do not plan to part ways with.
What Are Financial Goals & Future Plans?
Downsizing to a smaller home is a great way to meet financial goals and plan for things like retirement. Saving money can be a huge incentive to move to a smaller place, and it can help set you up for future financial success. Smaller homes require less of a financial commitment when it comes to maintenance costs and even monthly utility bills. But make sure you factor in your future plans as you’re searching for a smaller home. If you plan to retire in this space, you may want to find a home that can accommodate the needs of someone older. This may mean searching for a single-story house or one with minimal stairs.
Are you considering downsizing in the Pasadena area? I’m a local real estate agent with decades of experience in the local market, and I would love to discuss your unique objectives. I have helped countless buyers and sellers, so give me a call if you would like to chat!